Belgian postal company Bpost said on Wednesday it is carrying out an ‘internal investigation’ concerning a possible new offer for Dutch peer PostNL.
On Tuesday, the Financieele Dagblad said Bpost was preparing a new offer for PostNL. The paper bases its claim on preparatory documents which it says it obtained due to ‘a mistake by a PR bureau’ and says the Belgian plans have been confirmed by ‘people in the know’.
Takeover talks between the two broke down at the end of May when a deal on terms could not be reached. Bpost is thought then to have offered between €5 and €6 a share for PostNL.
Bpost said in a statement before the stock exchange opening that it ‘confirms that it is exploring internally a possible friendly approach to PostNL’. The company went on to say it regrets the ‘inadvertent leakage of an internal and confidential working document’.
No decision has been made as to whether to initiate a new approach to PostNL or as to the content of a revised proposal, the statement said.
According to the FD, Bpost has now increased its offer and says it has improved the bid in six ‘crucial’ areas. These include a commitment to maintaining the universal postal service in the Netherlands and agreement on pensions.
The Belgian government owns a majority of the shares in Bpost which is is currently valued at around €4.8bn, or almost three times that of PostNL.
PostNL booked turnover of almost €3.5bn last year and has operations in 13 countries worldwide.
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